Curtis Reeves, who faces second-degree murder charges in the killing of a moviegoer who refused to stop texting, had a similar dispute with another moviegoer at the same theater two weeks earlier, a Florida couple said Wednesday.
Jamira and Michael Dixon of Wesley Chapel, Fla., told CNN affiliate WTSP that they were watching the latest installment of "The Hobbit" at the Cobb Grove 16 movie theater in their neighborhood on Dec. 28 when Reeves, 71, snapped at Jamira for texting.
"He became just upset about the whole situation and kept staring and kept giving us dirty looks," Jamira Dixon told news stations in an interview outside her home.
She said Reeves asked her: "Can you do me a favor? Can you please just stop texting?"
She says she stopped.
On Monday afternoon, Reeves and his wife were sitting behind a couple in a theater at the same complex, where "Lone Survivor" was about to begin. Authorities and witnesses say he became irate during the previews when the man in front of him refused to stop texting.
A witness who was sitting nearby, Charles Cummings, has told reporters that the man was texting his daughter when Reeves asked him several times to stop.
"Somebody throws popcorn. I'm not sure who threw the popcorn. And then, bang, he was shot," Cummings said.
Chad Oulson, 43, was shot in the chest, and his wife, Nicole, 33, in the hand, authorities said. Chad Oulson died at a hospital.
On Tuesday, a judge ordered Reeves, a retired Tampa, Fla., police officer, held without bond, the Associated Press reported.
When Jamira Dixon heard about the shooting, she said, she was driving and had to pull over.
"It could have been us," she told local news stations. "It was just so close to home. It really makes you think how things could have went."
She declined to talk about the incident when contacted by the Los Angeles Times. “The family is very overwhelmed at this time," she said.
Neither prosecutors nor Reeves' defense attorney could be reached for comment late Wednesday.